Statement On Passage Of California’s Budget

Friday, June 26, 2020

2020 has been witness to great challenges for our state eliminating a once robust funding surplus and creating a funding deficit in a matter of months – all caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fight to keep essential services funded while dealing with a $54 billion deficit was my priority. The havoc the coronavirus has caused to our economy, our educational and medical systems has been tremendous. Any additional disruptions to programs and services for our students, seniors, the homeless and business communities would have a lasting impact on millions of Californians.

In addition to existing state programs, I fought to have a multifaceted stimulus plan included in the budget to address the health, education, and career outcomes of some of California’s most vulnerable citizens.

The South Los Angeles Stimulus includes:

  • Keeping local clinics fully funded
  • Funding for telehealth visits with care providers for residents receiving in-home supportive services
  • Funds community clinics - Restores over $100 million in proposed cuts to community clinics
  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) funding made available for undocumented residents
    • Gives EITC to undocumented individuals with children under the age of 6
  • Additional stimulus funds for undocumented residents
    • $10 million business training to undocumented individuals
    • $15 million in financial aid for undocumented students at UC, CSU, and community colleges
    • Help with providing full medi-cal coverage for undocumented individuals over 65 in next year’s budget
    • Funding for training and mentorship of defense attorneys for future deportation defense cases
    • Funds for the Delores Huerta-sponsored Civic Engagement Initiative – helps low-income students from rural and urban communities by teaching civic participation, governance and community leadership
    • Funding for Immigrant Legal Services
  • Work skill development to find new careers through career technical education (CTE) funding
  • Special Education
    • Gives an additional $1.5 billion for special education – helps parents and students
    • $15 million to train new special education teachers
  • Funding for LA school
    • $5.5 billion to help schools during COVID
  • Community banking support for small businesses
    • $100 million for small businesses with micro-loans and other capital

These programs are needed at this time to ensure South Los Angeles residents and low-income earning Californians are not left behind as the State works out a recovery plan. This is a targeted economic stimulus for communities of color who have historically been underserved and faced greater health challenges as data shows Latinos and African American communities are being hit harder by COVID19.

This budget, through my stimulus plan, addresses the greatest needs of this community now – it will take a generous amount of funding to tackle immediate problems, but without this stimulus generations of residents would suffer the consequences of inaction, which is a far more expensive proposition.

In unity,

Reggie Jones-Sawyer

59th Assembly District Representative & Chair, Assembly Public Safety Committee
Serving the Communities of Huntington Park, Florence-Firestone, Walnut Park, South Los Angeles, Exposition Park

Additional 2020-21 California State Budget Highlights  

  • Provide new investments in our communities by providing $300 million in funds for homelessness programs and provides a financial boost to working families through the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit to Californians and small business owners with children that file their taxes using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers.
  • Expand the CalWORKs program back to the 60-month timeclock that existed prior to the Great Recession to better benefit California families and children living through uncertain economic times.
  • Reject proposed reductions to critical health and aging programs including the elimination of Medi-Cal optional benefits, the multipurpose senior services program benefit, and the community-based adult services program, which provide care and supervision for senior individuals with disabilities and increased health risks who need to stay at home.
  • Direct billions in funding from the federal CARES Act to cities and counties to help fund the local services and the public health work that are critical in fighting the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Fund $70.5 Billion to K-12 education and avoid painful proposed cuts to our schools and community colleges. The budget also ensures that the teachers and employees that keep our schools running will be able to continue to serve our communities through the uncertain times ahead.
  • Reject proposed draconian cuts to the critically needed In-Home Supportive Services program, and other cuts to senior services such as nutrition programs and programs that help keep seniors at home.
  • Reject proposed reductions to childcare programs and direct federal funding to provide additional childcare services for essential workers.
  • Direct $100 million to support the California Infrastructure Economic Development Bank's loan guarantee program that provides financial assistance to small businesses.
  • Create savings in the budget through efficiencies and cost cutting in state agencies, and realize additional cost savings through working with state bargaining units to reduce pay.
  • Draw down a significant portion of the state's three existing reserve accounts to help cover a portion of the deficit, but maintains a total reserve of $11.3 billion to help balance potential shortfalls in coming budget years.
  • Contain a number of spending reductions in order to cover an unprecedented budget deficit, but allows for an immediate restoration of those funding reductions should the state receive an anticipated $14 billion of additional federal support.

To read more about the 2020-21 budget you may visit: http://www.ebudget.ca.gov